Cyclone Yaas, the second cyclone to ravage South Asia within a week, has made landfall. In Bangladesh, entire villages were submerged after waters destroyed two river embankments. At least two people have been killed, and more than 1.1 million people have been evacuated from the storm’s path as South Asia continues to grapple with a surge in COVID-19 cases.
350.org South Asia Organizer Shibayan issued the following statement:
“With every cyclone, we are reminded of the climate inaction and injustice that is plaguing our world. Science has shown that high sea temperatures in the Bay of Bengal are huge factors in causing strong cyclones – and that governments globally must keep all fossil fuels in the ground if we are to mitigate the worst effects of the climate crisis. It is time to fund a just recovery, where investments are directed away from fossil fuels into renewable energy. In Bangladesh, we call on the government to fund a green new deal, without using gas as a bridge fuel.”
Shahin Billah, climate activist from YouthNet for Climate Justice in Bangladesh said:
“My entire village is under water. I am devastated. We have been calling for climate justice for years but the cyclones are only getting more frequent and more intense. We haven’t completed rebuilding from the previous cyclone when a new one rips apart all the work we’ve done. Each time a wound dries, we’re plagued with new ones. Sometimes I feel that the international community has abandoned us. They have left us to die slowly. But I will not stop. I will continue to call on our governments to fund a just recovery. This means no more fossil fuels, no more gas, and instead funding just and clean renewable energy solutions.”